Consumers' Focus on Importance of Calories Leads to Improve Name for WOW! Line of Reduced Calorie Snacks

June 4, 2004

Consumers' Focus on Importance of Calories Leads to Improve Name for WOW! Line of Reduced Calorie Snacks


PLANO, Texas – Frito-Lay announced today that its “WOW!” products – the company's line of snacks cooked in olestra – will become the “Light” line of Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos and Tostitos to more effectively communicate the product's reduced calories.

The move to “Light” is a direct result of the rapidly changing environment surrounding diet. A sampling of numerous food categories determined that the term “Light” has become a well-established descriptor to indicate lower calories. Consumer research by the company also indicated the product name “Light” more clearly represents snacks containing fewer calories. Frito-Lay's “Light” line contains half the calories for potato chips and one-third the calories for tortilla chips.

Lay's Classic 150 calories
Lay's Light 75 calories
Ruffles Potato Chips 160 calories
Ruffles Light 70 calories
Doritos Nacho Cheese 140 calories
Doritos Light 90 calories
Tostitos Tortilla Chips 130 calories
Tostitos Light 90 calories
(calories based on one ounce serving)

The “Light” line also features no fat in potato chips and 1 gram of fat in tortilla chips. When WOW! was introduced in 1998, the name was chosen to emphasize its great fat-free taste compared to chips made with conventional cooking oils. Under the “Light” name, the company will continue to use olestra across its biggest brands including Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos and Tostitos.

“Today's educated consumer understands that lower calorie consumption is the key to balancing food intake and physical activity for proper weight management,” said Stephen Quinn, Chief Marketing Officer for Frito-Lay.

To inform the millions of current WOW! consumers about the “Light” name, the current packaging will include a sticker on the front of every bag to communicate the upcoming name and packaging change before it occurs. The transition stickers will appear on WOW! packaging starting in June and continuing through the summer. When the “Light” line is distributed to stores in September, consumers will continue to find the same seal on the front of the packaging that the product contains Olean, the brand name for olestra, which has been featured on packages since Frito-Lay's olestra products were first introduced six years ago. Olestra will also be noted in the ingredient panel.

In response to consumers' increasing interest in portion-controlled servings, Frito-Lay also plans to offer a 1-ounce single-serve package in addition to the family-sized packages (6 ounces, 10 ounces).

Olestra was one of the most widely researched food ingredients prior to being approved by the FDA in 1996. Following seven years of additional post-approval study since its introduction, the FDA concluded that olestra causes no more gastro-intestinal effects than what can be attributed to other foods people eat.

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that products containing olestra no longer required an information label on packaging.

Frito-Lay continues working to change the way Americans snack. In 2003, Frito-Lay was the first food company to eliminate trans fat from its snack products. Trans fats are considered by doctors as among the worst types of fats because they raise the LDL (or bad cholesterol) while lowering the HDL (or good cholesterol). The company converted from hydrogenated oils to corn oil, a trans fat free oil, in the production of Doritos, Tostitos and Cheetos snacks. By eliminating hydrogenated oils from its products, Frito-Lay removed an unprecedented 55 million pounds of trans fats from consumers' diets. For years, the company's leading Lay's and Ruffles potato chips as well as Fritos corn chips have been prepared in trans fat-free oils.

Most recently, Frito-Lay introduced Doritos Edge Tortilla Chips, Cheetos Edge Cheese Flavored Snacks and Tostitos Edge Tortilla Chips, for consumers pursuing a low-carb lifestyle. The Doritos and Tostitos Edge products contain 6 grams of net carbs, while Cheetos Edge contains 7 grams of net carbs. Additionally, Frito-Lay has begun distributing soy-based crisps under the Quaker Quakes brand.

Frito-Lay also offers a number of low-fat, sensible snacks including Baked! Lay's Potato Crisps, Baked! Ruffles Potato Crisps, Baked! Doritos Tortilla Chips, Baked! Tostitos Tortilla Chips, Baked Cheetos, Ruffles Reduced Fat Potato Chips and Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists Pretzels.

Frito-Lay North America is the snack division of PepsiCo, which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo divisions include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.